Dog abuse cases jam court

Dog abuse cases jam court

CALGARY HERALD | FEBRUARY 10, 2010
BY DARYL SLADE

Animals rights activists showed up Tuesday at the Calgary Courts Centre as judges dealt with three cases of dog abuse in which animals were hanged, beaten to death and had eyes gouged.

“It’s really bad when in one day there are three cases on the court dockets in one city,” Heather Anderson, founder of DAISY (Delegates Against Inhuman Suffering Y?), said outside court.

“If the public sees these people are getting more than a slap on the wrist, they’ll quit doing it. The general public doesn’t realize how many cases there really are, yet only a very small percentage even make it to court.”

Bradley Kim Bergman, 56, faces jail time after pleading guilty to assaulting his common-law wife, who tried to stop him from hanging her dog after the pet vomited in their house. Bergman also admitted to the animal abuse charges and spitting in the face of a police officer who answered the domestic call for help.

“The assault against Ms. (Denise) Head . . . no doubt induced a fair amount of terror,” Crown prosecutor Gord Haight argued in seeking a sentence of seven to 10 months.

Lawyer Patrick Flynn said his client suffered from depression and is on medication to control his anger.

“This man, for many reasons, has not been treated properly (medically),” said Flynn.

Court previously heard Bergman told Head after her six-year-old dog Buddy vomited: “I’m going to show you I can skin and gut a dog.”

The woman stepped in front of Bergman, who took the dog out to the garage and tied a noose around its neck.

Head called police and an officer had to cut the rope to save the dog’s life. Const. David Grouchey asked Bergman about the dog and Bergman said he hoped it was dead by now, then spit in the officer’s face.

The dog has since been adopted.

The case will be back in court on Friday to set a date for sentencing.

Michael Rabeau, charged with the beating death of a puppy, had his case adjourned until today to set a trial date. He had pleaded guilty but changed back to not guilty.

Donald Ainsworth pleaded guilty to a similar charge of animal abuse, and had his case adjourned until Feb. 17. He is charged with inflicting severe eye injuries to a dog named Gucci.

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